Motivation seems to be something that everyone wants and yet we all have a hard time getting it. What is interesting is that people seem to think that motivation and inspiration are the same thing. People seem to think that the two have the same meaning and the two words are often used interchangeably. This is not an accurate assumption.
Let’s look at the meanings of each of these words.
Motivation: (as taken from the Dictionary)
1. the act or an instance of motivating, or providing with a reason to act in a certain way
2. the state or condition of being motivated or having a strong reason to act or accomplish something
3. something that motivates; inducement; incentive
Inspiration: (as taken from the Dictionary)
1. an inspiring or animating action or influence
2. something inspired, as an idea.
3. a result of inspired activity.
4. a thing or person that inspires.
By looking at the definitions you can see that motivation seems to imply that there is a goal to reach. So the goal has a pulling force on the individual creating motivation. The individual has a “motive” to reach that goal, whether it be to lose weight to look good in their swimsuit or have financial freedom to have a retirement home.
Inspiration on the other hand, is more of a process. If something or someone inspires you, it touches you on the inside and connects you to a state of being more excited, productive, purposeful or anything that comes as a result of being inspired.
So, inspiration is something that you feel on the inside, while motivation is something from the outside that compels you to take action. Inspiration is a driving force, while motivation is a pulling force. They both can help propel you forward.